Win a Copy of The Playful Parent

I have had the great pleasure this week of receiving a copy of a new book by Julia Deering called The Playful Parent. If you haven’t heard of it yet I am sure you soon will.

The Playful parent

The Playful Parent is a fantastic book full of ideas around play for the under 5’s. It is packed with inspiration for engaging children with playful chores and encouraging then to play whilst you do chores. It has sanity saving ideas, crafting ideas, guidance and advice around setting up play quickly and lots, lots more.

My favourite bits of the book were the ‘invitations to play’ Julia shares. She makes an important  point that children find play invitations everywhere such as in a puddle, in their food! on spotting a worm in the ground  and we should embrace this natural playfulness. Ideas for invitations to play may include putting a box of dress up clothes beside a full length mirror, a few books in a basket on the floor, tidy shelves and open boxes of themed toys. Sounds inviting and easy to access doesn’t it!

With the school holidays fast approaching this book has given me lots of inspired ideas.

Julia Deering was a primary school teacher, she is a prolific parenting blogger and journalist and a play session leader at the Geffrye museum. She clearly knows her stuff. I would really recommend this book.

Would you like to win a copy?

In order to win a copy of The Playful Parent  you simply need to tell me in comments below you favourite way to play with your child?

If you go and follow Julia on twitter too and let me know in a separate comment that you have I will let you enter twice! Her  twitter handle is @DeeringJulia

A winner will be picked at random from the comments left on 27/6 at midnight.

T&C …..Over 18s and UK residents only please

Good luck & keep playful!



Win competitions at –



  1. June 13, 2014 / 10:17 pm

    I love the sound of this book and would love a copy. I enjoy sitting back and letting my children take the lead with play. Sometimes they really surprise me with their vision and insight. This is shown by the way a stick has a million uses and I have a million sticks or so at my front door!

  2. Krystal
    June 14, 2014 / 5:20 am

    I would love this book 🙂 I can already tell! ..I’m still considering myself a new mom, my daughter is 20 months. It’s just the two of us at home, and recently my favorite thing to do with her is draw/color… I will put out a tub of scrap paper (including junk mail), coloring books, crayons, and sometimes I throw in pens or pencils 🙂 she absolutely loves it so of course I do as well!

  3. kayleigh Bates
    June 14, 2014 / 9:27 am

    My daughter loves anything messy so puddle jumping and mud pies are her favourite

  4. Kathryn Davies
    June 14, 2014 / 9:47 am

    I love outdoor play. Kids find joy in the most mundane things and something like a feather can provide hours of joy.

  5. Kate Cunningham
    June 14, 2014 / 11:50 am

    My favourite way to play is to develop an interest they have or take something from a book e.g. we might make a fairy house in the garden if we have been reading stories about fairies and then we might ‘write’ fairy stories. I think all play that is child led can be deep and meaningful to the child.

  6. Kate Cunningham
    June 14, 2014 / 11:51 am

    I have followed @DeeringJulia @01592_katie

  7. Jaynealicia
    June 14, 2014 / 12:51 pm

    Cardboard box and a few blankets!

  8. jamie banks
    June 14, 2014 / 4:09 pm

    my daughter love to play hide and seek x

  9. Elizabeth Ferguson
    June 14, 2014 / 4:24 pm

    In the woods, following the river

  10. michelle banks
    June 14, 2014 / 5:34 pm

    my grandaughter loves colouring, and learning to write letters and numbers x

  11. Barbara Handley
    June 14, 2014 / 7:12 pm

    Cooking as it is something we can do together and it is never too soon to learn about food. It covers colours, names of ingredients, and warning of not touching cookers etc.

  12. Barbara Handley
    June 14, 2014 / 7:13 pm

    I am now following Julia Deering on Twitter.

  13. Heather
    June 14, 2014 / 9:00 pm

    My baby is only 3 months and starting to pick up on different sensations. I have a bag full of materials with different textures and sounds – her face lights up when she discovers something new!

  14. rebecca mills
    June 14, 2014 / 9:33 pm

    I love playing chase with my son and then tickling him when I catch him. He giggles loads

  15. rebecca mills
    June 14, 2014 / 9:33 pm

    Following on twitter

  16. karen usher
    June 15, 2014 / 12:02 am

    I love to build cubby houses inside the house, we have picnics inside our cubby house and play with toys/teddies/dolls 🙂 Great fun and great when its cold/raining outside.

  17. Rich Tyler
    June 15, 2014 / 3:27 am

    Playing peak a boo always goes down well, usually with a smile n a giggle! 🙂

  18. Lynn Heath
    June 15, 2014 / 6:34 am

    I like it when we make a den and climb inside and that den can become a rocket, a train, an aeroplane – anything that there imagination takes them!

  19. Lynn Heath
    June 15, 2014 / 6:35 am

    Follows on twitter as @lynn_heath

  20. Kirsty Fox
    June 15, 2014 / 8:32 pm

    We love getting some chairs and a load of old blankets and making a camp.

  21. Kirsty Fox
    June 15, 2014 / 8:33 pm

    I am following @DeeringJulia on Twitter @bloomingfox

  22. marika gauci
    June 18, 2014 / 10:09 pm

    My daughter is 2.8 we love “adventuring” in leafy woods and look for The night garden characters and Holly & Ben the fairy and elfs. We love cooking and making tents! thanks for the opportunity

  23. Louisa
    June 19, 2014 / 8:24 pm

    We’d love to win a copy 🙂 My ten month old baby and I love to play the piano and sing together. I take him up on my knee and he bashes away at the keys in delight. His favourite song is “the wheels on the bus.” He loves it so much that I just make up loads and loads of verses- there are loads of very random noisy things on our bus!!

  24. Racheyb
    June 22, 2014 / 10:01 pm

    We would love to win a copy, our 13 month old son loves to play with brightly coloured pom-poms, there are hours of fun in taking them in and out of a gift bag, posting them into drawers, pushing them through the cot bars, or hiding them under cushions then finding them again, and of course they are small enough to crawl with easily – I’m forever finding them in the most random places!

  25. leanne williams
    June 24, 2014 / 11:14 am

    my daughter love to play hide and seek x

  26. Kerry Lethbridge
    June 25, 2014 / 11:52 am

    Play doh is a reall favourite at the moment, but chasing in the garden in also great fun if a little exhausting

  27. Kerry Lethbridge
    June 25, 2014 / 11:52 am

    I have followed Julia on Twitter

  28. Helen Allan
    June 25, 2014 / 3:05 pm

    We love to empty the airing cupboard and make dens before playing hide and seek. Creates lots of new areas to hide in which the children love. Thank you! x

  29. Kerry Lethbridge
    June 25, 2014 / 3:14 pm

    Play doh is a real favourite of the twins lately we are never afraid to get messy and have fun

  30. Solange
    June 25, 2014 / 3:33 pm

    Outside in the garden using lots of imagination

  31. Spencer Broadley
    June 25, 2014 / 3:37 pm

    Always balls – whatever form – soccer, rugby,cricket – great fun for hours on end (give me the oxygen after, they have too much energy!!)

  32. June 26, 2014 / 1:30 am

    We love to play hide and seek 🙂

  33. Spencer Broadley
    June 26, 2014 / 11:07 am

    Ball games are the best. Fortunately my sons now like rugby and cricket, instead of this thing called soccer

  34. laura stewart
    June 26, 2014 / 7:06 pm

    we like playing lego and building different things xx

  35. Lisa Wilkinson
    June 26, 2014 / 8:22 pm

    Our current favourite game is to put different hats on each others heads! 🙂

  36. Rosalind Blight
    June 26, 2014 / 9:05 pm

    I love the idea of this book. When it comes to play I try and follow my childs lead and encourage her imagination, whether that is crawling under the table to make a den, making necklaces with pasta, painting the outside walls with water, painting with various parts of her body or playing with her toys. I love play and know there are always more ways to play

  37. Emily Jayne Phipps
    June 27, 2014 / 5:58 am

    Lots of books – my son loves them! I also make a lot of bits and bobs, out of old ‘junk’ for my son to play with, he’s almost a year old and just really getting into everything! A very fun stage! To be honest, he’s happy with a wooden spoon and cardboard box if he can bang it and make lots of noise!

  38. Emily Jayne Phipps
    June 27, 2014 / 5:58 am

    Followed @embabestweet

  39. liz ferguson
    June 27, 2014 / 7:58 am

    My kids love doing nature trails in forests / countryside.

  40. Vicky brown
    June 27, 2014 / 8:04 am

    I’d love this. I’m a bit stuck with our three year old right now who is an only child. Seems to have got into a rut with only wanting to play with one toy, or watch Frozen! Could do with some creative play inspiration.

  41. kate
    June 27, 2014 / 8:45 am

    i love to play hide and seek.its hilarious.

  42. Harley
    June 27, 2014 / 9:04 am

    Imaginative play, I love seeing how far their imaginations can go x

  43. Alexandra Smith
    June 27, 2014 / 9:29 am

    Difficult to choose just 1 – but my absolute favourite way of playing with my 16 month old is to dress up in silly clothes from the dressing up box & dance around the room to cheesy music! We both love it!!

  44. Alexandra Smith
    June 27, 2014 / 9:30 am

    I have followed Julia on Twitter – @cavemum1812

  45. carol boffey
    June 27, 2014 / 11:40 am

    we love colouring

  46. Sammy Sugden
    June 27, 2014 / 11:52 am

    Playing horses with the kids ,they take in turn to jump on my back and I go around on hands and knees and then rear up and they love it

  47. Sammy Sugden
    June 27, 2014 / 11:53 am

    Am also following on twitter

  48. carol boffey
    June 27, 2014 / 1:31 pm

    my son loves mud pies

  49. claire davey
    June 27, 2014 / 2:18 pm


  50. Adrian Clarke
    June 27, 2014 / 7:23 pm

    My twin girlies love to play in their ball pitt!

  51. June 27, 2014 / 9:04 pm

    I like to sing everything we do together!

  52. jodie harvey
    June 27, 2014 / 9:21 pm

    e like building with lego, colouring and anything outdoors, especially football

  53. jodie harvey
    June 27, 2014 / 9:21 pm

    Following on twitter @jodieh1131

  54. champaklal lad
    June 27, 2014 / 9:21 pm

    football, tennis, cricket whatever sports on TV

  55. Lynsey Ward
    June 27, 2014 / 9:40 pm

    Playing outside, throwing balls, using hoola hoops, hide and seek and jumping in puddles

  56. June 27, 2014 / 10:56 pm

    We love tickles with silly games and rhymes.

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